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BirdNote: Voices of Our Public Lands

Air Date: Week of

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Willow Ptarmigan. (Photo: Patty McGann, Flickr CC)

We the People own nearly 850 million square acres of US public land and ocean, and as BirdNote’s Mary McCann points out, these spaces provide vital habitat for over a thousand diverse species — from the Bachman’s Sparrow in the Southeast to Alaska’s Willow ptarmigan.



CURWOOD: The nation’s public lands stretch from Alaska to Florida – and given the wide variety of landscapes and temperatures, it’s no surprise they give a refuge to an astonishing variety of birdlife. Mary McCann has today’s BirdNote.


Voices of Our National Public Lands
[Bachman’s Sparrow song]

Bachman’s Sparrow (Photo: ©Joanna Kamo)

MCCANN: The diversity and richness of bird voices across the United States! Wow!
In the Southeast, at Florida’s Ocala National Forest, a Bachman’s Sparrow sings a lovely, clear whistled song.

[Bachman’s Sparrow song]

In the Midwest, at Rice Lake State Park in Minnesota, a Yellow-headed Blackbird offers its gruff repertoire of growls and toots. [Call of Yellow-headed Blackbird]

After dark in the Southwest, at Arizona’s Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge, a Black Rail utters its unmistakable call. [Call of Black Rail]

And in Alaska’s Denali National Park, a Willow Ptarmigan chuckles loudly across the tundra. [Call of Willow Ptarmigan]

Northern Hawk-Owl (Photo: ©Gregg Thompson)

But all of these places have something vital in common. They are part of our National Public Lands, lands owned by us, the American people. Comprising nearly 850 million acres of land and 3.5 million square miles of ocean, our public lands and waters provide habitats vital to more than 1,000 species of birds. Now that’s something to crow about! [Call of Willow Ptarmigan]

I’m Mary McCann.

Written by Bob Sundstrom
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Song of Bachman Sparrow [166561] recorded by R. Faucett; song of Yellow-headed Blackbird [105686] by G.A. Keller; Black Rail [56890] recorded by G.A. Keller; ambient drawn from Willow Ptarmigan [50031] recorded at Denali by L.J. Peyton.
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2013 Tune In to Nature.org September 2013 Narrator: Mary McCann

Bachman’s Sparrow © Joanne Kamo http://www.pbase.com/jitams/image/113389755
Yellow-headed Blackbird - Joseph Higbee FCC https://www.flickr.com/photos/21876608@N02/14009277500
Northern Hawk-Owl © Gregg Thompson
Willow Ptarmigan - Patty McGann FCC https://www.flickr.com/photos/pattymc/9060981651

Yellow-headed Blackbird (Photo: Joseph Higbee, Flickr CC)

CURWOOD: For photos of the Willow Ptarmigan and all those other birds including the Bald Eagle, whistle on over to our website, loe dot org.



Learn more about birds on public lands on BirdNote


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